Five Florida teens who reportedly laughed and taunted a disabled man as he drowned last summer will not face any criminal charges, as authorities determined they hadn’t broken any laws.
In a statement, State Attorney Phil Archer said they’re appalled by the teens’ “callous disregard for human life” but lamented that state laws didn’t address or criminalize their behavior.
The late man’s sister-in-law told ABC News that she’s frustrated by the prosecutor’s recent announcement.
“They should have been punished,” Melissa Ann Clark said. “It’s definitely [an] injustice.”
“A man died, and they laughed.”
Florida Today reports that Jamel Dunn’s senseless July 9 death at Cocoa Pond sparked talks of new “Good Samaritan” legislation that would’ve made it illegal for someone to not call for help or render aid to someone in distress. However, the proposal died before it reached the state legislature.
“I just never got any closure,” mother Gloria Dunn said of the lack of charges in her son’s death.
“They laughed at him. At the end of the day, you can’t live that down.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a minute-long video captured a group of unidentified 14-to-16-year-old boys laugh at Dunn, 31, as he screamed for his life. They allegedly left the scene without calling for help—essentially leaving the man to die.
“Get out the water, you gonna die,” one teen is heard yelling.
“Ain’t nobody finna help you, you dumb b***h,” another hollers.
Police got involved after the video made its way to social media and after Dunn’s body was recovered from the retention pond on July 12.
The 31-year-old was engaged to be married at the time of his death, according to the New York Daily News.
“It’s a difficult issue because some people have compared it to trying to legislate morality, but it comes down to this: We as a society have to do a better job of teaching our kids right from wrong, and to help people in need,” Cocoa police spokesperson Yvonne Martinez told Florida Today.
“When you watch that video, there really aren’t words to describe their actions.”
[Featured image: Jamel Dunn/Facebook]